How joyful are those who fear the Lord -- all who follow his ways! You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be! Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing within your home. Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees as they sit around your table. That is the Lord’s blessing for those who fear him. Psalm 128: 1- 4 NLT
The previous psalm spoke of the number of children as a reward from God. This psalm begins by speaking of the character of the whole family.
The father follows God’s ways because he fears the Lord. I don’t believe that means quaking in his boots kind of fear. I think this fear is more of a heightened respect for God
That is why he follows God’s commandments -- because he sees God has is Lord and gives him his total allegiance and obedience. The reward for this behavior is prosperity and joy.
In addition to being rewarded for following God’s ways, the father is rewarded in the character of his family. The wife is like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing in the home. I kind of like this imagery when I think of healthy grapevines in the sun, full of ripe and fragrant fruit. And, hey, they are fun because you can make wine out of them!
In addition, the children around the table are like vigorous young olive trees. Olive trees take a long time to grow but the reward for healthy trees is lots of olives that create oil for so many necessary tasks: light, cooking (flavor, heat and grease), skin lotion, hair tonic, and soap. Think of all the possibilities that are in each child around the table!
The rewards of following God are not quantitative as much they are qualitative.
God, help me to fear you with joy and to follow all your ways. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright Amelia G. Sims 2012